The cost-efficiency and reliability of two methods for soil organic C accounting

Raphael A. Viscarra Rossel, Dick J. Brus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sequestering organic carbon (C) in soil can help to combat land degradation, improve food security, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. But we need reliable, cost-efficient methods to assess, monitor, and verify the change. Here, we compared two methods for the direct measurement of soil organic C stocks and for monitoring the change. Our aims were to quantify the soil organic C stock in two carbon estimation areas, under cropping and grazing, using composite sampling with two designs and proximal sensing. We compared the two schemes in terms of the (a) accuracy of the estimated C stocks, the total cost, and the cost-efficiency, calculated as the ratio of the accuracy of the estimate and the total cost, and (b) uncertainty of the estimated standard error of the estimated C stocks. We found that compositing was cheaper but more inaccurate than sensing. Sensing was 1.2 to 2.1 times more cost-efficient than compositing. We also found that the uncertainty of the estimated standard errors from compositing was large and unreliable, which can hinder the quantification of a minimum detectable difference in organic C stocks. We show that the sensor-derived spatially explicit data can also be used to map the C stocks, which can help to optimise the sampling design in subsequent monitoring rounds. Our findings have important implications for the development of C measurement and monitoring methodologies. Visible–near infrared and gamma attenuation sensing can accurately, cost-efficiently, and reliably monitor and verify changes in soil C stocks.
LanguageEnglish
Pages506-520
JournalLand Degradation and Development
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Fingerprint

organic soils
organic soil
Soils
efficiency
monitoring
costs
cost
Costs
uncertainty
Monitoring
methodology
land degradation
carbon
Sampling
greenhouse gas emissions
food security
sampling
sensors (equipment)
Organic carbon
soil

Keywords

  • organic carbon stocks
  • soil carbon accounting
  • soil carbon monitoring
  • soil organic carbon
  • soil sampling
  • soil sensing

Cite this

@article{2e895bc5df224176968b442defc6f3a4,
title = "The cost-efficiency and reliability of two methods for soil organic C accounting",
abstract = "Sequestering organic carbon (C) in soil can help to combat land degradation, improve food security, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. But we need reliable, cost-efficient methods to assess, monitor, and verify the change. Here, we compared two methods for the direct measurement of soil organic C stocks and for monitoring the change. Our aims were to quantify the soil organic C stock in two carbon estimation areas, under cropping and grazing, using composite sampling with two designs and proximal sensing. We compared the two schemes in terms of the (a) accuracy of the estimated C stocks, the total cost, and the cost-efficiency, calculated as the ratio of the accuracy of the estimate and the total cost, and (b) uncertainty of the estimated standard error of the estimated C stocks. We found that compositing was cheaper but more inaccurate than sensing. Sensing was 1.2 to 2.1 times more cost-efficient than compositing. We also found that the uncertainty of the estimated standard errors from compositing was large and unreliable, which can hinder the quantification of a minimum detectable difference in organic C stocks. We show that the sensor-derived spatially explicit data can also be used to map the C stocks, which can help to optimise the sampling design in subsequent monitoring rounds. Our findings have important implications for the development of C measurement and monitoring methodologies. Visible–near infrared and gamma attenuation sensing can accurately, cost-efficiently, and reliably monitor and verify changes in soil C stocks.",
keywords = "organic carbon stocks, soil carbon accounting, soil carbon monitoring, soil organic carbon, soil sampling, soil sensing",
author = "Viscarra Rossel, {Raphael A.} and Brus, {Dick J.}",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/ldr.2887",
language = "English",
volume = "29",
pages = "506--520",
journal = "Land Degradation and Development",
issn = "1085-3278",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "3",

}

The cost-efficiency and reliability of two methods for soil organic C accounting. / Viscarra Rossel, Raphael A.; Brus, Dick J.

In: Land Degradation and Development, Vol. 29, No. 3, 01.03.2018, p. 506-520.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The cost-efficiency and reliability of two methods for soil organic C accounting

AU - Viscarra Rossel, Raphael A.

AU - Brus, Dick J.

PY - 2018/3/1

Y1 - 2018/3/1

N2 - Sequestering organic carbon (C) in soil can help to combat land degradation, improve food security, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. But we need reliable, cost-efficient methods to assess, monitor, and verify the change. Here, we compared two methods for the direct measurement of soil organic C stocks and for monitoring the change. Our aims were to quantify the soil organic C stock in two carbon estimation areas, under cropping and grazing, using composite sampling with two designs and proximal sensing. We compared the two schemes in terms of the (a) accuracy of the estimated C stocks, the total cost, and the cost-efficiency, calculated as the ratio of the accuracy of the estimate and the total cost, and (b) uncertainty of the estimated standard error of the estimated C stocks. We found that compositing was cheaper but more inaccurate than sensing. Sensing was 1.2 to 2.1 times more cost-efficient than compositing. We also found that the uncertainty of the estimated standard errors from compositing was large and unreliable, which can hinder the quantification of a minimum detectable difference in organic C stocks. We show that the sensor-derived spatially explicit data can also be used to map the C stocks, which can help to optimise the sampling design in subsequent monitoring rounds. Our findings have important implications for the development of C measurement and monitoring methodologies. Visible–near infrared and gamma attenuation sensing can accurately, cost-efficiently, and reliably monitor and verify changes in soil C stocks.

AB - Sequestering organic carbon (C) in soil can help to combat land degradation, improve food security, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. But we need reliable, cost-efficient methods to assess, monitor, and verify the change. Here, we compared two methods for the direct measurement of soil organic C stocks and for monitoring the change. Our aims were to quantify the soil organic C stock in two carbon estimation areas, under cropping and grazing, using composite sampling with two designs and proximal sensing. We compared the two schemes in terms of the (a) accuracy of the estimated C stocks, the total cost, and the cost-efficiency, calculated as the ratio of the accuracy of the estimate and the total cost, and (b) uncertainty of the estimated standard error of the estimated C stocks. We found that compositing was cheaper but more inaccurate than sensing. Sensing was 1.2 to 2.1 times more cost-efficient than compositing. We also found that the uncertainty of the estimated standard errors from compositing was large and unreliable, which can hinder the quantification of a minimum detectable difference in organic C stocks. We show that the sensor-derived spatially explicit data can also be used to map the C stocks, which can help to optimise the sampling design in subsequent monitoring rounds. Our findings have important implications for the development of C measurement and monitoring methodologies. Visible–near infrared and gamma attenuation sensing can accurately, cost-efficiently, and reliably monitor and verify changes in soil C stocks.

KW - organic carbon stocks

KW - soil carbon accounting

KW - soil carbon monitoring

KW - soil organic carbon

KW - soil sampling

KW - soil sensing

U2 - 10.1002/ldr.2887

DO - 10.1002/ldr.2887

M3 - Article

VL - 29

SP - 506

EP - 520

JO - Land Degradation and Development

T2 - Land Degradation and Development

JF - Land Degradation and Development

SN - 1085-3278

IS - 3

ER -